Nigerian cook Harrison Odjegba Okene lives to tell the tale of his survival 30 meters below the Atlantic Ocean for three days! This happened back in May but the video of his rescue went viral this week after it was posted online.
It started on May 26 of this year. Okene was one of the 12 men manning the tugboat Jascon, which was one of the three towing an oil tanker in the Delta waters in Nigeria. All of a sudden the tugboat lurched and turned over. Okene, who was going about his early morning routine in the toilet during that time, was tossed around in the cubicle.
Though it was dark he got out of the cubicle and tried to find a vent outside. While doing so he was able to get some tools that would aid in the next three days under water. As the tug got filled with water, Okene was able to find a 4-foot air pocket and that’s where he stayed for the next several hours. In his interview, Okene said that all he held on during his ordeal was God. He kept praying for God to deliver him and save him.
By the third day in the freezing water, Okene thought it was the end for but just as he was losing hope, he heard a boat engine stop. Because of his location, it would be difficult for the rescuers to find him so he started tapping the cabin’s steel wall with a hammer hoping someone would hear it. Luckily, a diver reached the spot where he was. That diver was not expecting to see a survivor but he admitted that he saw a hand. He thought it was a corpse so he was shockingly surprised when the hand also grabbed his hand when he reached for it. But for Okene, it was his salvation.
He was given an oxygen mask, attached to a harness and pulled up 30 meters from the Atlantic Ocean. In order for his body pressure to retrun to normal, Okene was held in a decompression chamber for sixty hours.
Okene is the only survivor from the Jascon tugboat. His 11 colleagues perished.